More volunteers needed to expand free funeral services , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

More volunteers needed to expand free funeral services

In 2012, Cheng Hong Welfare Service Society (CHWSS) started providing free funeral and bereavement services for the needy, regardless of race and religion.

To date, about 800 people have benefitted from Afterlife Memorial Service.

CHWSS chairman Kenny Sim told Lianhe Zaobao that it will be recruiting more volunteers and expanding the free funeral services amid the increasing demand it has seen over the years.

There were about 10 requests for the free funeral services in 2012. Today, Afterlife Memorial Service attends to an average of 20 cases a month.

Other than providing food ration and education grants, CHWSS also operates 10 traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinics and a mobile TCM clinic that provide free TCM treatment and medication to the needy.

"There are people who die alone at home and needy families that seek assistance with funeral arrangements for their loved ones. We help give them a proper send-off," said Mr Sim.

He added that CHWSS will also need more volunteers to join its current team of 300 to serve its 1,800 members, 10 per cent of whom are non-Chinese. The organisation hopes to serve about 700 more members.

To become a member, applicants must be at least 65 years old. Their health and financial status will be assessed. Many of the CHWSS members are the elderly who live alone, most of whom live in rental flats and receive government assistance. 

CHWSS secretary Lawrence Lim explained: "When you join CHWSS, you will be taken care of for the rest of your life."